Diving into the webtoon world!

LMAO did I just make a small reference to iKON’s recent title track on my blog post title?

Anyway, I have always looooved reading comics since my childhood. I actually started as a manga reader way before I got into young adult books. As for webtoons, I discovered it back in school after LINE Webtoon became available in Indonesia, probably around 2014 or 2015. I have read a few series before and to be completely honest, it felt weird at first because I wasn’t really used to reading colored graphic novels. But I did love the idea of endless scrolling while reading each chapter!

As I have mentioned in my previous post, recently I have been really into webtoons. I had this negative presumption about webtoon stories in general. I never imagined that I would enjoy them as much as reading manga.  It didn’t particularly click with me back then, but somehow I found series that truly gained my interest and that must be the main reason!

Of course, I love webtoons for the stories

As I realized that my taste has gotten incredibly picky throughout the years, I was skeptical prior to trying out webtoon again. BUT it turns out that I just had a very narrow mindset because I discovered that webtoon itself has many genres like manga. And it reminds me again that fictional stories don’t necessarily have to be complex to be amazing. I discovered light romance story like Days of Hana [하나의 하루] which include werewolves! And it also incorporates serious topics like social discrimination. Or a good old supernatural romance series like Devil Number 4 [악마와 계약연애], about a girl and a demon. Cue forbidden love, a trope that probably would have garnered an eye roll back in the days when I was still actively book blogging LOL. Nowadays I just try to enjoy the stories for what they are? Somehow it feels liberating that way.

A more challenging and darker webtoon would be #Killstagram [살人스타그램] — it falls in the horror & thriller genres, pointing out various issues like misuse of social media and bullying. The message delivered is so relatable to the current world. We must not judge a book by its cover. Be responsible for our everwebtoony word, because it might negatively affect people — we never know when their breaking point is.

There are just so many options to read and I can just pick whatever I want, which brings me to the next point —

Webtoons are easily accessible in my country!

With books, I have to order the physical copies online because my local libraries don’t have wide collection of young adult books. As for e-books, I’m not aware of any platform I can easily and legally obtain them here in Indonesia yet.

BUT for webtoons, there are currently two established platforms I’m reading from, each with different series. First LINE Webtoon, there are more diverse genres such as action, thriller/horror, romance, slice-of-life, etc. The series are free, but we can pay if we want to read the next chapters in advance before the scheduled update date. All of the webtoons I mentioned above are currently available on LINE Webtoon. I read both in English and Indonesian, as each language has different available series or chapters. Indonesian LINE Webtoon especially — I didn’t expect it to have a lot of translated manhwa series which is not published in the English language (yet).

The other one is KakaoPage Indonesia. It is dominated with romance manhwa series, especially isekai. So many stories about dukes, kings and queens LOL. There are also high school, college and office romance haha! Unlike LINE Webtoon, Kakaopage only provides several few chapters for free, as for the rest you have to wait for free ticket which is renewed every 24 hours/3 days/7 days depending on the series. So I have to be more patient while using this app, unless I feel like splurging some cash to buy tickets haha. I do have a few favorite stories there like Doctor Elise [외과 의사 엘리제] in which the female MC suddenly returns to her past life and decided to become a doctor. I know it doesn’t make sense — but anyway, the plot is well-written and in each arc I love how the MC continues to make significant contribution to her kingdom! I really like Elise and I love her dedication as a doctor! I felt a bit guilty (?) because I enjoyed the story so much that I ended up buying tickets so I could binge a lot of chapters at ones LOL.

Long story short, reading webtoons has been my go-to entertainment during quarantine for the past month. The only downside is no website or platform to track the series I’ve read! If books have Goodreads, manga and anime have MyAnimeList and Asian drama has MyDramaList, logically speaking there should be one for webtoon LOL! I tried searching some webtoon / manhwa series on MyAnimeList and they are not available there :/ Oh well then, I guess I have to keep track of my reads on Microsoft Excel haha.

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